Two years ago, Resh hit a stumbling block in his music career. At 39 years old, he felt that he had already done it all as a Malaysian recording artist.
“There was simply nowhere else to go. I didn’t want to repeat everything,” he said during an interview in Kuala Lumpur, recently.
Frankly speaking, there are no other artistes in Malaysia like Resh, who has released music in English, Malay and Tamil and picked up a number of Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) wins along the way.
When international acts like Alicia Keys and The Black Eyed Peas came to town, Resh was their opening act.
He has also given acting a shot in 2012 by starring in Hantu Gangster, a horror comedy movie alongside Farid Kamil and Namewee. With such an eventful career, it was no surprise that he was starting to feel a little jaded.
So, he sat down with his management team and wife Kavita Rajoo to discuss his future plans. “My wife told me it was time to look at the bigger picture. She took a progressive step and said it’s time for a change,” he recalled.
Resh went for a complete image overhaul – ditching his trademark cornrows for a slick pompadour, and changing his stage name from “Reshmonu” to the current “Resh”.
Then, he sent an email to American music producer Jim Beanz to talk about making music together. Unexpectedly, he got a reply.
“Previously, I was always doing my own stuff within the confinements of my studio at home. It was easy. Then I arrived at Jim’s studio in Philadelphia in the United States and told myself, ‘I can’t afford to screw it up’. For three weeks, I was feeling pressure that I’ve never felt before.”
Resh then came back to Malaysia and successfully pitched himself to Universal Music. He is now signed to Universal Music Singapore where he has the label’s full backing to showcase his music across the region.
His new material, Who Am I, is a six-track EP sees the artiste exploring genres like R&B, soul, EDM and pop, and features the lead single Half The Man, which made it to the radio charts in the US last year.
“I’m proud (of the Universal Music signing). I feel that this opportunity should be given to other artistes as well. The labels should start taking pride in their local talent.”
Resh thinks anyone looking to be signed should have something interesting to offer. When he pitched himself he could call upon songs by Jim Beanz and his decade-long experience in the music business.
“When the people at Universal Music heard Half The Man and the other tracks, they all saw something in it. You need to have a story. It’s not just about being a kid who can sing.”
He admitted to feeling like being in “uncharted waters” at times but has no regrets. Resh hopes other local musicians would follow suit and think about expanding taking their career beyond Malaysia, as there is proof that Malaysian talent are accepted overseas.
“I look at the success of Yuna being a recording artist in the US and how Paperplane Pursuit got their track listed in the US Billboard Mainstream Top 40 Indicator Chart. We’ve been dreaming about this situation for a few years now. It’s a proud moment for our local artistes.”
He advised local musicians to just go for it.
“There are no shortcuts. I would advise anyone to not give up. Find something relevant and exciting to work on. Don’t dwell on failure. I’ve had failures in my life too and I learned from it,” he concluded.